Human Rights Committee
Geneva, 12–30 July 2010
Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant
Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee
29 July 2010
19. The Committee notes that certain exemptions from obligatory military service have been granted on the grounds of conscientious objection. It is concerned at the independence of the “Committee for Granting Exemptions from Defence Service for Reasons of Conscience”, which is composed, with the exception of one civilian, of officials of the armed forces. It notes that persons, whose conscientious objection was not accepted by the Committee, may be repeatedly imprisoned for their refusal to serve in the armed forces (arts. 14 and 18).
The “Committee for Granting Exemptions from Defence Service for Reasons of Conscience” should be made fully independent, persons submitting applications on the grounds of conscientious objections should be heard and have the right to appeal the Committee’s decision. Repeated imprisonment for refusal to serve in the armed forces may constitute a violation of the principle of ne bis in idem, and should therefore be ceased.